BLACK REPUBLICAN BLOG -
The Republican Party is the party of civil rights and the four F’s: faith, family, freedom and fairness.
The Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and socialism (Quote By Author Michael Scheuer).
Friday, November 18, 2022
Minority Support for the GOP Crept Up Again in the Midterms
Democrats step up appeals to racial resentment as their ethnic base continues its gradual erosion.
colleague James Freeman, who writes the
Journal’s Best of the Web column, noted earlier this week
that the term “progressive” might be falling out of favor
with some Democrats following the midterm election
results. If so, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Progressive era of the early 20th century produced such
presidents as Woodrow Wilson and
such intellectuals as the British economist John
Maynard Keynes. Following World War I, however, voters
began repudiating progressivism, and by the time the
political left was ascendant again in the 1930s under Franklin
D. Roosevelt, erstwhile progressives had rebranded
themselves as liberals. That label would stick though the
1980s until calling a candidate liberal became almost a
smear, and by the end of the 20th century Democrats on the
left were self-describing as progressives again.
the things that progressive elites in both eras share is
an outsize role in promoting racism. Keynes co-founded a
eugenics society at Cambridge University. Wilson hosted
a White House screening of “The Birth of a Nation,” a
movie that glorifies the Ku Klux Klan, and one of his
first acts as president was to segregate federal
employees. Madison Grant, a lawyer and
leading conservationist, wrote the 1916 bestseller “The
Passing of the Great Race,” a pseudoscientific screed
arguing that blacks, Native Americans, Jews and the
peoples of Eastern and Southern Europe were members of
progressives advocate preferential treatment based on
race and ethnicity. Boston University professor Ibram
X. Kendi, one of the most celebrated progressive
thinkers in the country, openly supports racial
discrimination. “The only remedy to past discrimination
is present discrimination,” he asserts. A hundred years
ago, progressives attributed racial disparities to
genetics. Today, they blame racial bias. In both cases,
they’ve taken one factor and convinced themselves that
it alone is the determining factor.
have long sought to win elections by fueling racial
resentment. And while Donald Trump’s recent verbal assaults
on former Transportation Secretary Elaine
Chao, a native of Taiwan, show once again that Democrats
don’t have a monopoly on racism, today’s Democrats are
far more reliant on identity politics to get their
voters to the polls. That’s why President Biden likens
his political opponents to Jefferson Davis and
Bull Connor and refers to Republican policies as “Jim
Crow 2.0.” And it’s why Democratic candidates in last
week’s election spent so much time trying to paint
Republicans as not only wrong on the issues but bigoted
good news is that it didn’t seem to work. According to
exit polls, every major racial and ethnic minority group
voted more Republican this year than in 2018. Compared
with four years ago, “Hispanic and Asian support for the
GOP jumped 10 and 17 points respectively, while Black
voters shifted about 4 points to the right,” Politico
reports. Among black and Hispanic men, Republican gains
in recent elections have been even more pronounced.
continue to pay a price for catering to upscale white
progressives while giving short shrift to the concerns
of their minority base. Increasingly, these neglected
voters see the GOP as a viable alternative. The Asian
and Hispanic shares of the electorate are growing.
Democrats can bleed only so much minority support,
particularly in battleground states and swing districts,
and still win elections.
Georgia’s gubernatorial race, Democrat Stacey
Abrams lost her rematch against Republican
incumbent Brian Kemp. Georgia had record
turnout for early voting, yet black support for Ms.
Abrams, a progressive superstar who has made phantom
voter suppression her signature issue, ticked down from
four years ago. In the state’s Senate race, meanwhile,
incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock is
facing Republican Herschel Walker in
a runoff election. Notably, Mr. Warnock has campaigned
as a pragmatist rather than a progressive, which is one
reason he performed so much better than Ms. Abrams and
still has a shot at holding his seat. If Democrats are
rethinking the progressive label, candidates such as Ms.
Abrams are the reason.
Democrats call themselves liberals or progressives, the
bigger problem is the policy behind the label. Defunding
the police gives the upper hand to violent criminals in
poor communities who target their mostly law-abiding
neighbors. Opposition to parental choice forces children
to attend schools where little if any learning takes
place. Living-wage laws harm job prospects by making
would-be employees too expensive to hire. Expanding the
welfare state has a long history of expanding dependency
rather than reducing poverty. The political left’s
support for such policies undermines upward mobility
among the very groups they claim to champion.
minority voters are giving the GOP a look because they
want more effective representation from the political
class. Who can blame them?
For years, the McConnell and Chao families have cultivated a relationship that enriches the couple and grants status to the Chaos’ shipping company.
For decades, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao have maintained a glaring conflict of interest, conducting extensive government business despite the Chao family’s deep ties to China through a maritime shipping company. Now, former President Donald Trump is calling attention to the top Republican’s problematic China ties, while most of Washington remains silent.
“Why do Republicans Senators allow a broken down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hard working Republican candidates for the United States Senate[?]” Trump asked in a Truth Social post on Sunday. “This is such an affront to honor and to leadership. He should spend more time (and money!) helping them get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!”
It didn’t take long for the corporate media to mock Trump’s assertion, framing his legitimate criticism of McConnell and Chao as unfair and unjust. Some outlets such as Vanity Fair even hinted that Trump’s comments were revenge against Chao for resigning from the Trump administration following the 2021 Capitol riot and subsequently cooperating with the illegitimate Jan. 6 Committee.
Trump’s criticism of McConnell and Chao, however, is not something to be taken lightly. For years, the McConnell and Chao families have maintained a symbiotic relationship that grants opportunities to the Chaos’ shipping company, Foremost Group, which largely operates in and on behalf of communist China.
This reciprocity is well documented, but unlike with Hunter Biden, there is less scrutiny from observers, including those on the right, for this “corruption by proxy,” as author and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer calls it.
Blood Runs Thicker than Water
As Schweizer documented in his 2018 book “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,” McConnell took a strong stance against China before his marriage into the Chao family. According to Schweizer, it was a 1994 trip arranged by James Chao, McConnell’s father-in-law, and sponsored by China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSP), one of the CCP’s largest military contractors and reportedly an unofficial arm of the CCP navy, to meet the Chinese president that pushed McConnell to “increasingly avoid public criticism of China.”
That’s likely because Chao and her family are well-connected in communist China thanks to her father’s company. Foremost is technically based out of New York but largely operates out of China, where at least 70 percent of its freight, mostly industrial, is delivered. Not only are a majority of Foremost’s ships built in state-owned shipyards, but some are even financed by the Chinese Communist Party. They are then used to deliver cargo outlined in contracts with the communist government, which has clearly stated goals to rapidly expand its industries to compete with the U.S.
This trend of the Chao family expanding their influence in China only continued as McConnell and his wife burrowed deeper into the American political system. When Trump named Chao head of the Department of Transportation in January of 2017, her family publicly rejoiced — likely at the opportunity to further their business interests. That same month, Chao’s sister Angela was named independent non-executive director of the CCP-affiliated Bank of China.
Even though the Trump administration took a hardline stance against China and its intent to compete with the U.S., the Chao family company proceeded with the purchase of 10 new ships from the Chinese government. That strategic buy expanded the Foremost fleet capacity by more than 40 percent, enabling the company to do even more business with the CCP. It also came shortly after Chao secured a spot in the Trump Cabinet overseeing an industry in steep decline thanks to competition with China.
While China sought to expand its maritime endeavors, it was under Chao’s leadership that the Department of Transportation proposed budget cuts for programs meant to stimulate American shipping and mariners.
How to ‘Get Rich on China’ 101
McConnell still expresses some support for curbing China’s ascent, but whether his concern is sincere or political is difficult to say.
Not only do McConnell and Chao’s family members financially benefit from doing business with communist China, but so have McConnell and Chao. The political duo may not have a formal stake in the Chao shipping empire, but they have certainly amassed wealth from the business.
The biggest evidence for this came in 2008. Just one year after James Chao joined CSSC Holdings, in addition to running Foremost, McConnell received a “gift” of $5 to $25 million from his father-in-law. As Politico reported, that payment significantly bumped McConnell’s net worth, which was measured at around $3.1 million in 2004, to between $9.2 million and $36.5 million in 2014.
Several members of Chao’s family, including Angela and James, also contributed more than $1 million to McConnell’s re-election campaigns. In other words, the founder of an unofficial arm of our top adversary’s navy is helping keep McConnell in U.S. leadership. According to Schweizer, these kinds of payments could have been money designed to keep a favorable relationship between McConnell and the Chao family.
“Foreign governments and oligarchs like this form of corruption because it gives them private and unfettered gateways to the corridors of Washington power,” Schweizer wrote in his book “Empires.” “Foreign entities cannot legally make campaign contributions, so using this approach creates an alternative way to curry favor and influence America’s political leaders. Simply camouflaging these transactions as business agreements provides another shield of plausible deniability.”
Status and Power
The Chao family has also amassed wealth by trading on their ties to McConnell.
While public officials — such as Chao from 2017-2021 — are barred from using their status to grant favors to friends and family, Chao publicly supported her family’s financial endeavors onscreen. Despite avoiding U.S. press appearances in her capacity as transportation secretary, Chao joined her father for dozens of appearances on Chinese and Chinese-American television where she regularly boosted Foremost and the work her family does out of China.
“In at least one other interview appearance, the Transportation Department flag and the state flag of Kentucky, the state Chao’s husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) represents, both appear in the background,” the Hill reported.
Chao also granted her China-sympathetic family access to the president of the United States, a political connection that her father coveted and later boasted about in interviews, sometimes with communist state-owned media.
“The president spent several minutes with me,” James recounted in one interview after talking with Trump aboard Air Force One. “We were talking about business.”
That comes as no surprise considering that, ahead of her first scheduled visit to China as a member of the Trump administration, Chao requested that accommodations be made for at least one family member to join her trip. She also asked for her shipping industry relatives in China to be included in transportation-themed meetings with government officials. Her trip was quickly canceled once the press raised ethical concerns.
It wasn’t until 2017, decades after McConnell and Chao began to benefit from their family’s ties to China, that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Chao demanding that she explain her public elevation of her family’s maritime company.
Evidence of wrongdoing in the OIG report was communicated in a criminal referral to the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the DOJ Public Integrity Section, but none of the agencies decided to open an investigation.
Chao may no longer hold an official place in the federal government, but she remains a large player in Washington, D.C., through her new role as a board member for the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center. McConnell, on the other hand, is still the highest-ranking Republican in Congress, who could reassume leadership if the GOP takes back the Senate. Whether voters like it or not, McConnell will likely determine the steps Congress takes to keep communist China’s hands out of the U.S. government.
Given this track record, the likelihood that McConnell will support policies that curb his family’s fortunes is questionable at best. That’s why Trump’s criticism of the McConnells’ close personal and professional relationship with China is long overdue. At a time when Republicans are questioning McConnell’s ability to advance the new GOP’s agenda, raising these connections is nothing short of necessary.